Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Wiggles

Every teacher I know is getting geared up for the new school year.  Yesterday I spent a good hour and a half at the Learning Shop putting together a new theme for my classroom! One thing, however, that has been sitting on my list all summer is to get a set of these:    

These might not look like much but these "balance disc cushions" saved my sanity last year.   One learner had a bad case of the Wiggles!  He had lots of difficulties sitting still and focusing in class.  Throughout the year I tried everything from exercise balls (he would roll them into other students), to silly putty (in his hair), to allowing him to walk, move, wiggle int he back of the room (worked for 3 days), and on and on, but nothing was a success until the balancing disc was introduced to me by my assistant basketball coach who used them for balancing moves in her middle school P.E. class.

This Wiggle banish-er sits right on the chair and other than elevating the learners a few inches, it's pretty undetectable. It has two different sides of "pokers" (as my learner called them) which allowed him to choose how much stimulation he wanted. The disc allowed him to wiggle (non-distractedly) in his seat, have muscle stimulation, and provided him with the slight individual attention he craved.  

Some days my learner would put it under his desk and rest his feet on it, and other times he would hug it to his chest.  In just 1 week of him using the balancing disc, he was a completely different student from what I had known all year!  At one point he was bringing his discs (voluntarily!!!) to our reading rug, to guidance, and to recess when he "just needed to cool down."  He used the disc for the entire 3rd trimester and I have never, in all my teaching, seen such a shift in behavior!!!  Wooo Hooo!!!!

I'm borrowing a few more discs from our middle school, but if you are interested in helping your Wigglers, School Specialty sells them, as well as Amazon and Walmart.

I know that this is not a one stop solution, but it made the end of my school year so much easier and hopefully they can help make your whole school year smoother as well.  Some other great ideas (thanks pinterest) that I'm going to create for my Wigglers are:

The Calming Jar

Hope this helps!

~Michelle Louise

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